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Grading standards for extremely old coins

knovak1976knovak1976 Posts: 217 ✭✭✭
edited December 16, 2022 3:29PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I was reading my Numismatic Weekly magazine the other day and I'm always a bit perplexed when I see photos of slabbed coins in the magazine of old Colonial pieces and coins from the late 17, 18, and early 1900's that seem to grade out extremely high for what I see. I was really stunned when one coin with just an "NE" on an otherwise dirty coin (at least that's what it looked like to me) that was graded as a PCGS 62. I MIGHT have given it a VG at the most. Another coin that was graded as a Prooflike was a dingy grey (almost like a steel cent). Just seems that I have sent coins in that "appear" to be much higher in quality but grade horribly yet some of these coins that are barely readable are grading out as AU or higher. Am I missing something here in how the older coins are graded?

Comments

  • knovak1976knovak1976 Posts: 217 ✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    Those older issues were not struck the way modern issues are and were not prepared on quality planchets, either. Therefore, if you aren't familiar with them, many of these look like low-grade problem coins when they might actually be pretty darn nice for the issue with almost the same eye appeal as when they were issued.

    Okay, thanks Tom..........that's what I was thinking but wasn't sure. Appreciate the quick answer. Merry Christmas! karl

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I know all about the "they weren't struck very well to begin with" excuse but have never really bought into it. I think the rarity of these pieces has a lot to do with the liberal grading seen so often.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,240 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    I know all about the "they weren't struck very well to begin with" excuse but have never really bought into it. I think the rarity of these pieces has a lot to do with the liberal grading seen so often.

    I’m thinking it’s some of both.

  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @knovak1976 said:
    ... I was really stunned when one coin with just an "NE" on an otherwise dirty coin (at least that's what it looked like to me) that was graded as a PCGS 62. I MIGHT have given it a VG at the most.


    NE is the only thing on that side of the coin - check your RedBook.
    It's not like there was other stuff on it that wore off.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Smudge said:

    @291fifth said:
    I know all about the "they weren't struck very well to begin with" excuse but have never really bought into it. I think the rarity of these pieces has a lot to do with the liberal grading seen so often.

    I’m thinking it’s some of both.

    Yes. Bit of both.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BryceM said:
    @knovak1976,

    Can you share photos of some examples?

    Also, what do you mean by "extremely old"? One of these coins is about 10 times older than the other: >:)

    image

    image

    Lol. Americentric bias. There ain't nothing old in the New World

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Grading Massachusetts silver (NE, Willow, Oak Tree and Pine Tree coinage) is challenging because the coins have very little microscopic design details. Everything is on two levels, unlike latter coins which had more details like “liberty,” dress folds and leaf details. Complicating things further is that many pieces were struck bent thanks to the rocker press that was used to strike many pieces.

    NE shillings are super simple designs. In the end you have to grade by surfaces, which challenging to say the least. It takes years of experience and talent to do that well.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I really do not consider grade on coins such as the old Massachusetts NE coin... I know it is important to others, but to me, those coins are historical treasures and the condition is a minor relevancy. Cheers, RickO

  • ambro51ambro51 Posts: 13,598 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 18, 2022 8:36AM

    I am terrified to submit this Vermont Ryder 10 for grading because I am 100% certain it will come back VF instead of Unc. Yet, Tony Carlotto examined this coin for a half hour, proclaimed it as the finest Ryder 10 known, seen die cracks and fine detail he had not seen on any other coin, and said the old red still visible is old mint original red. He could care less about the various planchet defects, as these were present before striking. P

  • knovak1976knovak1976 Posts: 217 ✭✭✭

    @yosclimber said:

    @knovak1976 said:
    ... I was really stunned when one coin with just an "NE" on an otherwise dirty coin (at least that's what it looked like to me) that was graded as a PCGS 62. I MIGHT have given it a VG at the most.


    NE is the only thing on that side of the coin - check your RedBook.
    It's not like there was other stuff on it that wore off.

    I believe this might have been the coin. I know it only has NE stamped on it, but just trying to figure how a coin that looked like that would grade so incredibly high. (In my opinion.) Thanks, karl

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